Not everyone is a fan of the fig, but I love them and I think a lot of people just don’t know what to do with them. True, they are delicious eaten fresh on their own or simply cut and served on a cracker or bread with blue cheese, but for me, when these beauties are baked is when the best of what they have to offer is released.
These little fig tarts are as gorgeous as they are delicious to eat. Made with an almond custard and finished with a drizzle of honey, they make a lovely dessert to share with guests or to munch down anytime!
FALL FIG TART
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks (1cup) of chilled unsalted butter cut into tablespoon size chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup cold water
In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, sugar and salt until it resembles a coarse meal (you should be able to feel small pieces of butter when you rub the mixture between two fingers). Drizzle in ice water, one tablespoon at a time, just until it holds together. Divide the dough into 10 balls, wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
Roll each ball out to a 6 inch circle and carefully press into tart tins and then cut the excess off of the edges. Lightly prick the bottom of the tarts with fork and place in the freezer for ten minutes. Carefully, line the filled tart tins with parchment and fill with weights, beans or rice.
Bake in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove parchment and weights and then continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the crust begins to get a pale golden hue to it. Remove from oven and cool while you prepare the custard.
For the Almond Cream:
2 cups almond meal (almond flour)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk or half & half
1 teaspoon almond extract
With an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on a medium speed until well combined. Add almond meal and almond extract and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add the salt, eggs and milk or half & half and mix until light and fluffy.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
You will also need:
18-20 figs, quartered lengthwise (I used black figs here)
1 cup apricot jam
Honey to drizzle
Place the partially baked shells on a sheet pan. Divide both the apricot jam and the almond custard amongst the tart shells, first spreading the jam on the bottom of the shell and then layering the custard on top of the jam. Then place the quartered figs, cut side up, in the tart shells, pressing them lightly into the custard.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the custard is puffed and golden brown.
Drizzle with honey and serve warm.